Pac-12 M5: 01.23.13 Edition
Posted by PBaruh on January 23rd, 2013
- For the past couple of years, there hasn’t been a premier team in the Pac-12. UCLA has a history and tradition that no team can match and are usually the most dominant team in the conference, but that hasn’t been true as of late. You might argue that the play of Arizona over the past couple of years has made the Wildcats the cream of the crop in the Pac-12, but aside from their Elite Eight appearance and conference title two years ago, there hasn’t been much in the way of sustained success in Tucson. Currently, though, this seems to be Arizona’s league evident by their #6 ranking in the AP Poll and ability to consistently win this year, something UCLA hasn’t done as well. However, this could all change on Thursday when the Bruins travel to the McKale Center. If they can pick up a key road victory there, order might finally be restored for Bruins fans as this victory would signal that UCLA is back in its rightful spot in the Pac-12 and is there to stay.
- Sean Miller finally got his wish when Mark Lyons won Pac-12 Player of the Week after his very successful performance against Arizona State on Saturday. Prior to this week, no Arizona player had won the award despite its high national ranking and multitude of impressive wins. But after Lyons put up 24 points, three assists and three rebounds while outplaying arguably the best point guard in the Pac-12 in Jahii Carson, there was no question Lyons deserved it. Lyons scored 15 of his total points in the second half and was instrumental in a 15-5 Wildcats’ run in the second half.
- Does Craig Robinson deserve to be on the hot seat? This is Robinson’s worst start in Pac-12 play in his five years at Oregon State as the Beavers now sit at 0-5. They have had a very tough schedule to start out the conference season, though, and Robinson has said on the record thath this is the best team he’s had at Oregon State. Excuses can be made as OSU lost Angus Brandt to a season-ending knee injury early in the season, but the team’s overall play still has been very lackadaisical and uninspired at times. It certainly doesn’t help that Dana Altman has turned around intrastate rival Oregon in only three years and currently looks like the team to beat in the Pac-12. The bottom line for Beavers fans is that if Robinson can’t turn things around soon, he might be looking for new work after another unsuccessful year.
- USC interim coach Bob Cantu has the Trojans playing much better in his short tenure thus far. In Cantu’s first two games as the head coach, the Trojans played Oregon to a hard-fought two-point loss and managed to beat Oregon State by a single point. In both of these games, USC showed resiliency in terms of its competitiveness and fire. Although it’s still early in his tenure and Cantu will need to show sustained consistency the rest of the way, it’s safe to say that USC fans are happy that Kevin O’Neill is no longer in charge of their team.
- The last time that Washington played Oregon State it didn’t turn out well for Lorenzo Romar’s team. Washington was the too seed and the Beavers were the ninth seed in last year’s Pac-12 Tournament, yet the Beavers pulled off the upset and ended any chance that the Huskies had of making the NCAA Tournament last season. They’ll play for the first time since then on the road tonight, and C.J. Wilcox says he and the Huskies want revenge. Wilcox believes they’ll play with a chip on their shoulder and extra energy that will help them get back on track after their disappointing loss to Utah on Saturday.
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